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OALD gives several examples in the entry of "with"

With these students it's pronunciation that's the problem. #6

Is it a restricted usage? Why not use "to" or "for" instead?

She acted with a touring company for three years. #14

Again, is it a restricted usage? Would "for" or "in" be acceptable in this example? Any nuances?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In your first example, the difference between with and to or for is a matter of perspective: for or to implies that the the problem is something the students must deal with, while with implies that the focus is on the problem as it affects someone other than the students—their teacher, for instance.

  • If I have a problem with something it is a problem to or for me.

In the second example, the nuance is one of professional delicacy. Speaking of a theatre company usually does not address the enterprise as a business entity but as an ensemble of collaborative artists; in this context the actor does not act for the company (which would imply the business relationship of receiving a wage for services rendered) or in the company (which would imply pursuing distinct activities within an organization) but with it, collaborating with her colleagues.

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Simple and understandable. But one thing, in the first sentence, no comma is used. Don't you think using it would make the sentence more understandable? To be frank, this structure of sentence does not seem in flow. –  Maulik V Apr 19 at 13:01
    
Thx a lot. Having been learning in this site, I have made a great progress with my English. Here "company” has the meaning of a group of people together, as in a pleasant evening in the company of friends. It does not refer to a business entity. –  Zhanlong Zheng Apr 19 at 13:03
    
Btw, is the first usage common? Can it collocate with any verbs or nouns in a sentence? @StoneyB –  Zhanlong Zheng Apr 19 at 13:20
    
@MaulikV With such brief phrases I see no need for a comma. But I'm not fond of heavy punctuation. –  StoneyB Apr 19 at 13:27
    
@ZhanlongZheng It's perfectly ordinary. I'm not sure what scope of "any" you have in mind. –  StoneyB Apr 19 at 13:28

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